"Top Gun" - Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A long, long time ago, a movie was made that celebrated the bravery of Naval aviators.  It was produced by a famous film duo of the time - Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson - who were known more for making big-budget action-packed films than for creating sublime pieces of cinematic art.  The movie Top Gun, which they produced in 1986 with Tony Scott directing, definitely fits the formula one expects of a Simpson-Bruckheimer film.  It stars Tom Cruise as "Maverick," a young upstart with an attitude problem and a lot of raw talent, whose unwillingness to play by the rules and work as a member of a team cause a lot of tension among his group of fliers.  Mistakes happen, tragedy befalls a friend, and Maverick comes out a better man for it.  But he still has that attitude problem.

The film did extremely well at the box office, becoming the top-grossing film of 1986, and an excellent recruiting tool for the U.S. Navy.  In fact, when Paramount Pictures offered the Navy the chance to put a recruiting commercial on videocassettes of the film upon its release, the Navy declined, stating they didn't need that since the entire film served as a recruiting device. Critical praise was a little shortcoming for the film, but that did not really matter considering the money it made.  With the untimely death of Don Simpson in 1996, and Tony Scott's suicide in 2012, discussions for a sequel to the film have slowed down, but persist.  The American Treasure Tour celebrates this film with a plaque, located in our Toy Box.
QUESTION:  Which Academy Award did Top Gun receive?
A)  Best Picture
B)  Best Actor
C)  Best Sound Editing
D)  Best Music

TUT TUT.  Our continuing celebration of America and American history brings us to this day in Egypt during the year 1922, when the British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Pharoah Tutenkhamen in the Valley of Kings, a spot in the deepest desert where ancient leaders of Egypt buried their greatest citizens.  This discovery had a far-reaching impact.  As a previously undiscovered site, King Tut's gold had never been ransacked before. People around the world could see how a Pharoah lived and died, and mysteries of this ancient culture were answered.  Then, of course, Steve Martin made a wonderful song about it half a century later.

DORIS!  Turning ninety today, Doris Roberts has had a long and distinguished career in television, film and on stage, often playing a manipulative mother figure.  She won a number of awards for her portrayal of Marie Barone, the dysfunctional mother in Everybody Loves Raymond.  We're glad to see she's still going strong.  Keep it up, Doris!

QUOTE:  The minute you're born, you're getting older. - Doris Roberts

ANSWER:  D)  Best Music, for the song "Take My Breath Away."